When CM Punk chose to join the UFC fight nearly two years ago, few believed he could excel in the cage. After all this was a former WWE champion, in the tail end of his 30s, who has never had any boxing experience before.
On Saturday night, Punk might very fought his last fight in the UFC. Punk was pummeled for three rounds by Mike Jackson. In the end, it was a lopsided unanimous-decision loss at UFC 225. But the endo of his career in UFC should not come as a surprise.
When he decided to trade his wrestling boots for a pair of four-ounce MMA gloves was never about being the best fighter in the ring. That was almost impossible for a fighter in his late 30s to go against lifelong veterans.
And yet, somehow, Punk managed to stood in the center of the cage, getting outstruck by UFC welterweight Mike Jackson. After the fight, UFC President Dana White almost certainly shut the door for another CM Punk fight.
– No, it should be a wrap. The guy’s 39 years old. We gave him two shots, and he had a lot of heart tonight, and I think he should call it a wrap”, White said after the match.
No matter whether Punk decides to hang up the gloves or not, the fact remains is that he managed to entertain people in a sport few have the fortitude to compete in. On Sunday, Punk took to Twitter to explain his view.
You win some, you lose some! I'm 1-1 this week and I'll take it! Thanks to my team, my family, my friends, and THE FANS! Wouldn't be here without any of you. Respect to @TheTruthJackson, thanks for the fight! You only live once, and… I'M ALIVE! pic.twitter.com/UPPGFpx4iS
— Coach (@CMPunk) June 10, 2018
And he is spot on with this statement. For Punk, fighting was always more about testing himself, and trying to be the best version of himself as humanly possible. And truth be told, that is the core reason why martial arts exist in the first place.
There were moments during the match when Punk showed exactly what it means to be a MMA fighter. At one point, Jackson cracked him clean on the chin with a right hand. For most human beings, that would be the end. But Punk stumbled backwards a few steps, and then reset his feet. He then unloaded a flurry of wild punches in return. He was not backing down. He was not giving up.
Punk has spent the last three years in preparation for competing in the UFC. He was getting beat up and thrown around by some of the best fighters in the world. He was humble in every aspect of his MMA journey, and he deserves to go out on his own terms.
Truth be told, fans rejected the idea of him competing in the promotion, but he continued to grind away for long hours in the gym. He was hopeful the day will come he will compete. And once the day came, he was ready. UFC 225 will be remembered for many things, and CM Punk is one of those.
Win, lose, or draw, I’m really happy for CM Punk. Not many men would sack up to put their nuts on the line in front of millions of ppl. That’s a win in itself, whether or not he belongs in the UFC at this very moment. #UFC225
— Aljamain Sterling (@FunkMaster_UFC) June 10, 2018